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Junk sleep threat to teenagers

With the new school year just a few days away, school nurses are being warned that mobiles, TV and games consoles are affecting teenagers' quality of sleep.

An online poll of 1,000 12 to 16-year-olds has found that one in three sleep only four to seven hours a night instead of the recommended eight to nine.

A quarter of youths admit they fall asleep watching TV or listening to music more than once a week.

Teenagers said limited sleep affect their energy levels, mood, schoolwork and hair and skin.

UK sleep expert Dr Chris Idzikowski of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre believes that teenagers should sleep in a room free of distractions and teenage sleepovers should be limited.

“Teenagers need to wake up to the fact that to feel well, perform well and look weel, they need to do something about their sleep,” he says.  

“This is an incredibly worrying trend. What we are seeing is the emergence of Junk Sleep - that is sleep that is of neither the length nor quality that it should be in order to feed the brain with the rest it needs to perform properly at school.”

The Sleep Council